Passing the Baton
About the Guest
Thinking about a vacation? What about a trip with a purpose? Parents of three, Jim and Jerolyn Bogear, share how they've reinforced their family's core values by treating each of their children to a special trip they call a Faith Legacy. Find out how you can do the same and influence your children for eternity.
Thinking about a vacation?
Passing the Baton
Bob: When their children reach a certain age, Jim and Jerolyn Bogear take their kids on what they refer to as a rite of passage trip. It’s a combination of serious business and some serious fun.
Jim: Well don’t we all like to get away? We oftentimes do retreats, and it helps our people think and dream and talk. So I think out of that normal “Dad’s going to sit down and talk to me while we’re sitting on the couch” and there’s a hundred other distractions or things going on in life, this is a focused attempt. And like we said, it’s a rite of passage trip. It’s a handing of the baton of these values that we’ve been trying to live out.
Bob: This is FamilyLifeToday for Friday, April 29th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. We’ll talk today to a mom and dad who have found a creative way to pass on a legacy of faith to their children.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us. I’m kind of wondering if parents are listening to our program today and they’ve got younger kids, should they have the younger kids continue to listen? I’m just afraid the kids are going to go, “Hey, I want to go on some nice vacation with Dad here in a couple of years.”
Dennis: Well, maybe what the parents need to do is send the children off in a corner with a map of the United States, and just let them think about “Where would you like to go?”
Bob: Yeah. Just cut off Alaska and Hawaii because they might get big ideas if you leave those on the map.
Dennis: Yes. No doubt about it. We heard earlier about Jim Bogear’s wonderful adventure to New York City with his daughter, Lauren. He joins us again on FamilyLife Today along with his wife, Jerolyn. Welcome back to the broadcast.
Jerolyn: Thank you.
Dennis: Jim is a pastor, Jerolyn is a school teacher, and they live in Sacramento, California. They have three children, and they’ve written a book called Faith Legacy. We mentioned earlier how you have six values that you guys have hammered out as a couple. Now you said, Jim, these came from a sermon series, right?
Jim: Yes, Jerolyn mentioned that, that we preached on this, but we had already laid the values out.
Dennis: I was going to ask if you’d gone to the Vice President here of the Bogear family.
Dennis: What was your part in hammering out these values that he ended up preaching on, but you both ended up passing on to your children?
Jerolyn: Well, I think in working out exactly how we were going to do that. What were the steps we’d take in getting these values to our children, how do we practically make it a part of our lives? And then also, analyzing how are we modeling these values for our children?
We talk about that a lot in the book. You were talking earlier about a bridge – that you have a bridge of a relationship to your children. And that is part of the bridge – that we had already been living out these values for our children, not perfectly, but we’d been trying, and they’d been seeing that. And in doing so, we were asking them, “We want you to live out these values as well.”
Dennis: Now you guys don’t know this, but Barbara and I early in our marriage after we’d had two or three children had a getaway and we just did a little exercise where we attempted to hammer out what were, and what became the core values of our family.
I have to tell you that what you have talked about in this book we have experienced. Now we don’t have the same six that you have, but we hammered out five, and just the fact that Barbara and I agreed upon our five core values in advance – it settled a lot of issues as we raised our children.
Bob: You didn’t agree at the beginning of that retreat. You had different values going into the retreat, didn’t you?
Dennis: Well, actually what we did was she wrote a list of her top ten values and ranked them, I wrote a list of my top ten values and I ranked them. And then we got together and argued.
(Laughter) I mean, excuse me, hammered out and prayerfully considered . . .
Jim: Discussed, yes.
Dennis: Yeah, there you go. Spiritually considered our values. Now, we did, we talked about them, and there was give and take. There were some on my list that didn’t make the top five and some on hers that didn’t make our top five and we consolidated others. But just the discipline that you had in your family to come up with these six probably settled a lot of arguments between you two as a couple and with your children.
Bob: Did you come up with these six by getting away for a weekend and talking about it, do you remember the process by which the six emerged in your thinking?
Dennis: They’re looking at each other like –
Bob: I have no idea where these six came from –
Dennis: I don’t know where these came from.
Jim: I do know we didn’t take a weekend away to plan this. We began to talk about them. Because, again, as Jerolyn said, we were trying to live these out.
We hadn’t necessarily put names with some of those, because, like one of the values, integrity, we really wanted a person who was a person of integrity to have a good work ethic. Well, that was something that we were raised with, we understood, but we began to put honesty and truth-telling and work ethic, so maybe it’s a blend of some of those that we felt like we gave a name integrity and what that looks like to it.
Bob: Would you have these conversations around the table after dinner, or going to bed? I’m just wondering where you found the time and how the conversation – Did you say, “Hey, let’s talk about our values again tonight,” or how did you do it?
Jerolyn: It was just living life, you know, what is this that we’re living out for our children? What are we going to call this?
Jim: We realized, as I said earlier, we put a name with it, the value that we were trying to instill. So, yes, in general living life and having conversations.
Bob: And then at some point you said, “Let’s drive this home through these legacy trips” that you took your kids on. You took your oldest daughter to New York. When it came time for your second child – is that a son or a daughter?
Jim: A son.
Bob: He didn’t want to go to New York, right?
Jim: No, correct.
Bob: Where did he want to go?
Jim: We ended up in Pebble Beach.
Dennis: And so did Jerolyn get to go with him to Pebble Beach because you got to go to New York City with your daughter?
Jim: Great question. A wonderful question. No.
Dennis: And was Jerolyn in agreement with that?
Jim: Absolutely. Were you in agreement with that?
Jerolyn: I was in agreement. It was the New York City one I wanted to go to more.
I was still being a mom at home, I was holding down the fort. But we also – you know we keep talking about the different trips, and there are so many different ways, and especially in this economy now, you know. “How can we do this? We can’t afford a trip to New York City,” and probably today we couldn’t afford a trip to New York City either.
But you can take day trips, take six Saturdays in a row and spend it with your child, doing something that they enjoy doing, get into their world, and then discuss each of the values.
Dennis: I’m convinced right now there are listeners who are going, “Okay, you’ve baited us long enough. What are the six values, and how do you teach them in terms of what is the object lesson you give your children on this legacy trip to drive home the point?”
Jerolyn: Well, as Jim said before, the first value is devotion, loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. We have Peter as being our biblical example, we have the gift of the key, and we have the question.
We drive it home with the way they’ve been raised, in that we’ve been raising them with biblical values, Christ-like values, that we have been taking them to church, that we have been showing them how to read the Bible and discussing the Bible with them. And then at the end of each chapter we have age-appropriate activities that you can do with your children to drive home the point of each of the values. But devotion is the first one.
Bob: So, for example, what kind of an activity would you do around devotion?
Jerolyn: Well, we have it broken down in ages – between ages six and ten or eleven, you could start teaching them to have TAWG time, time alone with God, where they literally spend some time alone and you set the parameters for what that is: they are in a room alone, they are having prayer time or they can have Christian music playing, or they can be reading a book, or whatever – as long as they are learning to be alone with themselves, for one, and with the Lord at the same time.
Jim: Integrity is the second value that we talk about in the book, and the gift that we give is a mirror, and we also talk about “How is the mirror looking?” as the question.
Dennis: Now do you give an actual mirror?
Jim: Yes we do.
Dennis: How big of a mirror?
Jim: It depends on the size and style. We try to find it appropriate for a girl or a boy. Nothing huge.
Dennis: Guys never look in mirrors –
Dennis: So why give a guy a mirror?
Bob: A little pocket mirror – that’s all you need, right?
Jim: Because we want them to look and see themselves, identifying their identity in Christ, and we want them to look at that image that they are becoming more and more Christ-like.
Bob: Who’s your biblical character for integrity?
Bob: Well he had some lapses in integrity.
Jim: Absolutely, and we talk about that. Just like we don’t have it perfect as parents, we mess up all the time, David was too, but it was said of him that he was one who was “after God’s own heart.” We look at his life, and we look at that, the biblical example, and we also admit that David failed. David messed up.
Dennis: As we think about integrity we could think about right and wrong choices, but as I heard you guys discussing it earlier, you mentioned work ethic falls under this topic. That was one of Barbara’s core values, so she would really buy in to your definition of integrity, teaching your children what a full day’s work was and to do things right the first time. She’s big on that.
Jim: You’re exactly right, and we really want this good work ethic. We don’t want people to say you’re lazy. What kind of representation is that of Christ and following him as a Christ-follower?
I stopped at one of our son’s place of employment when he was working in high school and I said to the manager that had hired him. I said, “I’ve got a question.” We stepped outside; our son wasn’t there, Shay, and I said, “How’s he doing, because we have a value of integrity?”
He stopped me and said, “Sir, we have a value of integrity in this company, and he is doing well. He is working hard; he is going above and beyond.” I thought that was interesting that here it is, somebody noticing that he was working hard and fulfilling that integrity. I thought it was a neat story for us as a parent.
Dennis: It never hurts to inspect what you expect.
Bob: Okay, you’ve got devotion, integrity. What’s the third one?
Jerolyn: The third one is purity, and with purity we give them a purity ring. Some can choose some of the rings you find in Christian stores. We let them choose the style they wanted, and they will wear that until they get married, until they replace it with their wedding band.
The biblical character is Joseph for that, because he was the man who ran from temptation, and to show that it can be done, that this is a lifestyle that you can live and your marriage will be stronger for waiting.
So that’s what we do for purity. And the question is, “What’s on your hand?” You know, before they go on a date, although we encourage group dating, but when they can start dating, “What’s on your hand?” just to remind them of that commitment they’ve made to purity.
Dennis: And do you define purity for them, because in this culture, I mean, peers are defining morality and how far you go, and hooking up . . .
Bob: Uh-huh. Your version of purity may not match my version of purity.
Jim: Yes – and then on the legacy trip, my son and I had some great discussions about that specifically, from man to man.
Bob: Yes, you had to talk about pornography; you had to talk about all kinds of issues, right?
Jim: Yes. Absolutely, and explaining some terms to help make sure he understood what may be said in the locker room. He played some sports, and those kinds of things, just to be very honest and open of what’s in our brain, what’s in our mind, the whole eye-gate and the ear-gate, what we allow to come in, so absolutely. Yes, we tried to define that very clear of purity.
Dennis: Okay, there’s a dad who is listening to you, Jim, and he’s going, “You’re the pastor, you know how to say these things. You’re polished, you’re a professional.” How do you talk to a 16-year-old boy about pornography? I’ll set him across the table from you; what do you say to your son about pornography and about purity?
Jim: First we talk about the value and the respect of a woman. We begin to talk about what this means. It’s amazing. You can be a great communicator, and you two are – how do you come across that table to your son? It’s amazing the words that don’t come out of your mouth.
Guys, you don’t have to be perfect in this. They may already know more than you think they know, or at least more than you know.
Dennis: Your hands are clammy even now, even talking about it, aren’t they?
Jim: Yes. So don’t think that just because you’re –
Dennis: It’s okay to be scared, isn’t it?
Jim: Absolutely. It’s just like you said earlier. We’re not perfect. It is nerve-wracking. We’re oftentimes maybe more nervous than the child in this process. Their eyes and ears are open, listening to what you say, so we want to make sure we say it as best we can.
Dennis: So do you ask him point-blank if he’s looked at any stuff with buddies on the internet or in magazines or in movies?
Jim: Yes, and we’ve tried to ask about that point-blank, about that direct. They know that we have access to their computer, to their passwords, and we’ve set that up for protection from them so we can look and check that as well. Some people may think it’s an invasion of privacy; we don’t. We think it’s being very good parents, and so we do ask them very directly those kind of questions, and we’ve had some pretty open and honest conversations.
Jerolyn does a wonderful job of asking questions, and we’ve had some great dinner conversations or after-dinner conversations. In the busyness of our schedule, somebody will say, “Well, how do you have those?”
We make time for those; we do our best to do that, even if we’re grabbing dinner on the fly, on the run, we come home, we still try to find those times to ask those questions and to be open and honest with them.
But we also are open and honest with ours. They have access; if they want to look at Dad’s laptop, here it is.
Dennis: And if you ask the hard question, I think you have to be ready to deliver a gentle grace and a gentle forgiveness if they fail.
Dennis: Just to let them know that no matter what they share, no matter how shocked you might be, you’re going to love them, you’re going to be there for them, you’re going to keep believing in them, and that you’re a safe person for them to be real with and for them to fail with.
Jim: And we’ve had some honest answers in a variety of the values, and we trust that we’ve done a good job of extending grace and love, because we’ve also been there in different areas of struggle. I would say to parents, “Dads, you may have to honestly confess some things.
You may have to be willing to share and grow through that and say, ‘Hey, I haven’t been perfect in this area,’ not just purity, but whatever it may be. Maybe I cut some things off at work, or maybe I didn’t have a good attitude, or maybe my anger really flared up, and I have to ask for forgiveness and I have to be honest and vulnerable about the struggles that I have.” And that’s risky, but it’s really fair and it’s best.
Bob: You mentioned a good attitude. That’s one of the six, right? Having a good attitude.
Jerolyn: Yes, the fourth one is positive attitude.
Bob: And Mom put that on the list and said, “You better talk to them about this while they’re on that trip.”
Dennis: I like that value.
Bob: That’s right. “You’d better come home with a good attitude.
Dennis: That’s going to be in all capital letters at our house, right?
Jim: We often joke – even if it kills us, you’re going to have a positive attitude! We joke with our kids because we believe in that so much. A positive attitude – and the gift we give is an eagle, and we simply ask the question, “How high will you fly?”
We’ve often heard from others, attitude determines your altitude. Where are you going to go in life, and we believe that is so important.
Jerolyn: We chose Paul as the biblical representative of that. We said, “Who else can you pick besides Paul?” You know, they flog him, they try to kill him, they put him in prison. He says, “Yea, put me in prison. I can tell people here about Jesus.” And then they let him go. “Yea, thanks for letting me go.” And then they say, “Well, we’re going to kill you.” “Please kill me, then I can go and be with the Lord in heaven.” You can’t have a positive attitude better than that, so . . .
Bob: Well he said, “I’ve learned the secret of being content in all things. I’ve had plenty and I’ve had want. It’s fine. I’ve learned how to be content; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” So that’s a great representation of a good attitude.
Dennis: Now do they put the eagle in their room? Is there a cage?
Bob: Not a real eagle.
Dennis: Oh, sorry.
Bob: What’s the fifth value?
Jim: Generosity, and we actually gave them a silver dollar in the year they were born, and we just ask them, “What are you doing with what you hold?”
This idea of we really want generous people. We love and serve a God who is so incredibly generous that we want to do that. We actually talk about the biblical character is Barnabas, and really how he was generous in so much of his way.
Jerolyn: And the generosity isn’t just with your finances or your belongings, but also with your heart, with your service, with your time. We just happened to use the silver dollar as our gift.
Jim: Generosity is often-times equated with money, but we’re talking about generous in your love, in your forgiveness of people.
Jerolyn: In grace.
Jim: Yes, absolutely.
Bob: And that’s where Barnabas, Son of Encouragement, he was the one who came alongside and was generous and supported the Apostle Paul.
Jim: Yes, even when others didn’t necessarily believe in him or were scared of Paul, Barnabas came alongside. You’re right.
Bob: And the last of the six?
Jerolyn: The last is significance, and we use Jesus as our biblical example there. It’s really basically all about relationships. Our gift is framed pictures of family and friends, people who have been significant in your life, and how are you going to be significant in other people’s lives?
Bob: If I called one of your kids today and said, “What are the six values," would they be able to tick them off, do you think?
Jerolyn: I think so. I think eventually they would get through all six.
Jim: I hope so.
Bob: If not, you’d send them to the refrigerator. They could just read them off the list there.
Jim: Or the wall. That’s right.
Dennis: Do they have all these object lessons of these values still in their rooms today?
Jerolyn: Yes. Our son doesn’t have them at college, but yes, our daughter took them all with her when she moved out of the house, and they’re all in our son’s room waiting for him in college, and our daughter has them.
Dennis: Alright, I’m going to ask a question that I know a ton of our listeners are asking right now. I’m looking at the front of your book, and I noticed that your book is copyrighted. Now, there are a lot of listeners listening that are going, “Those six values -- I’d like to steal those six values. Those fit for our family.”
Jim: Integrity. Be honest.
Dennis: Would you give our listeners, if they really like your six values, or maybe four of the six, would you give them permission to take those values?
Jim: We would love that. Yes. Absolutely, positively.
Bob: That’s why you wrote the book, right?
Jerolyn: That’s why we wrote the book.
Jim: We felt like that. We had somebody read the book before it went to print, and we said, “Well, maybe people have other values.” “Oh, no. We think,” and this was somebody who was a grandmother. “We think these are the six values, these are great, we want our children to instill in their grandchildren.”
Dennis: What I’d say to anybody who is listening: As a parent, whether you’re almost done or if you’re just getting started, what Jim and Jerolyn have modeled here is – if you don’t like their six values, or you like three of them, take with permission their three values that you do like, and figure out two or three more that you as a couple can agree to.
Raise your children intentionally and embed these principles, these values in their souls because you know what? All of us are in the process of passing on out of this life, and we’re passing it on to another generation. That’s the title of your book: Faith Legacy.
I just appreciate you guys and appreciate you sharing your story with our listeners. I hope many of our listeners will also leave a legacy of faith.
Jerolyn: Thank you.
Jim: Dennis, can I just say on that, I really appreciate that. We’ve seen legacy around this with FamilyLife, and legacy is a big word for us. We can all leave an inheritance of something, when we talk about monetary, but we want to leave and live a life of legacy.
We just think it’s so important; that word is so valued around our home that it really pictures for us the completion of this book – of now, handing it to them, and as they’ve gone off to college or whatever we’ve taken them and said, “Now, begin to live and to leave your own legacy. Begin to follow that.”
But these aren’t new values with us. How could we dare hang on to them? These are values that others have had and we’ve just begun to give words to, so they’re not even stealing. They are using what we’ve taken from others, I’m sure, as we’ve learned around the way.
Bob: I just want to find out here – a little reality check. You said you and Barbara got away for a weekend and came up with five values for your family, right?
Dennis: Right. Right.
Bob: And I know this was a long, long time ago.
Bob: Do you still remember what the five are?
Dennis: Yeah, well in general. They weren’t words exactly like this, but first and foremost was love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.
Bob: Oh, so these guys stole that one from you.
Dennis: They did. I think they got it.
Jerolyn: You found us.
Dennis: I think secondly is the greatest mission a person can be on in their lives, and that’s the Great Commission, be a part of proclaiming the Gospel. Number three was Barbara’s, the work ethic. Number four was mine, which is relating to people and loving people. And I have fulfilled what you wanted me to do, Bob. I have forgotten what number five is.
Dennis: I was stalling. I was trying to go, “Where is it? I know it’s there.”
Jerolyn: Let’s call Barbara.
Dennis: She’d probably remember.
Bob: We’ll call her and see if we can put it up on the website at FamilyLifeToday.com, which is also where we have copies of the book Faith Legacy that you guys have written. If our listeners are interested, go to FamilyLifeToday.com.
The book again is called Faith Legacy by Jim and Jerolyn Bogear, and you can order it from us online, or you can call 1-800-FLTODAY, 1-800-358-6329, 1-800 “F” as in Family, “L” as in Life, and then the word “Today.”
Even if you don’t wind up using the same six values that you guys use, you may want to borrow some of the ideas from this book as you develop a plan of your own for your family, and how you want to pass these values on, and whether you want to do some kind of rite of passage trip like you guys have done. Again, the book is called Faith Legacy. Order online at FamilyLifeToday.com, or call us at 1-800-FLTODAY.
Let me also say a word of thanks quickly to those folks who this week have called in or gone online at FamilyLifeToday.com and made a donation to support a particular emphasis of our ministry here at FamilyLife. One of the things that we’re all about is trying to equip and mobilize and challenge churches and individuals to get involved in caring for the needs of orphans all around the world. Everybody can do something, and through our Hope for Orphans® outreach we are trying to spread the word and provide help for those who want to get involved.
This week we’ve been encouraging FamilyLife Today listeners to make a designated donation to support the work of Hope for Orphans. If you make a donation this week and you designate it, those funds won’t go to help keep FamilyLife Today on the air. Those funds will go to help the Hope for Orphans outreach. In fact, every dollar you donate will go in that direction, so thanks to those of you who do help keep FamilyLife Today on the air through your legacy partner gifts or through your donations from time to time. This week, can I encourage you to make a special donation to help the ministry of Hope for Orphans?
If you donate online, just type the word “ORPHAN” in the key code box on the online donation form, and if you donate by phone, just call 1-800-FLTODAY and say “I’d like my money to go to Hope for Orphans,” and we’ll make sure it all goes in that direction. And we want to say thanks for your support as well.
We hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family can worship together this weekend, and I hope you can join us back on Monday, when we’re going to talk to a couple who have made hospitality a priority, and they’ve got some great ideas about how you can become more hospitable without it being a big stressor for you. Okay? So I hope you can tune in for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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